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Markets

Australia shares close at record high on mining, energy boost

  • The broader market was also aided by an uptick in US shares overnight after data showed an improvement in the labour market.
Published May 28, 2021

Australian shares settled more than 1% higher on Friday, posting their best week in seven, as mining and energy stocks tracked an uptick in commodity prices, while strong US data boosted hopes of an economic recovery and lifted sentiment globally.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.2% higher at 7,179.50, a record high, and posting a weekly gain of 2.1%.

Metals and mining stocks jumped 2%, adding 1.6% for the week, as iron ore futures rose after China said it planned to curb steel output to meet its peak carbon emission target.

Rio Tinto and BHP Group rose 2.6% and 2.9%, respectively. Fortescue Metals, on the other hand, slipped 0.7% after it raised the cost estimate for its Iron Bridge magnetite project for the second time this year.

Energy stocks gained 1.7% as oil prices climbed on promising US economic data and expectations of a strong rebound in global fuel demand in the third quarter.

Index heavyweights Santos and Oil Search advanced 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.

Financial stocks rose more than 1% with the "Big Four" Australian banks gaining between 1.1% and 1.4%.

The broader market was also aided by an uptick in US shares overnight after data showed an improvement in the labour market.

A separate report by the Commerce Department confirmed that gross domestic product rose at a 6.4% annualised rate last quarter, compared with a 4.3% growth in the fourth.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 12,182.25, with real estate and utilities stocks being the biggest drags on the index.

The biggest loser on the index was Mercury NZ, which fell 5.8% in its worst day since July 9, while Pushpay Holdings slipped 2.9% to NZ$1.690.

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